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HP service automation tools make it easier for IT staffs to work with Chef, OpenStack

Administrators can now incorporate Chef scripts into their own HP orchestrated workflows

By Joab Jackson
May 21, 2014 01:29 PM ET

IDG News Service - Hewlett-Packard has integrated its service automation programs with IT configuration and management programs Chef and OpenStack, a move that could make it easier for IT staff to work with these open source applications, often used by individual lines of business.

"We're giving a lot of focus to open source technologies like Chef and OpenStack," said Manoj Raisinghani, HP software senior director of global product marketing for automation and cloud management. As a result, "this allows the IT guy to work much more closely with the line-of-business owner."

In June, HP will release new versions of HP Cloud Service Automation (CSA version 4.1), Operations Orchestration (OO 10.1), and HP Server Automation (SA 10.1).

The company will also launch a new package using these programs, called the Orchestrated Datacenter, that allows organizations to automate many of their data center operations. The package can be used to control physical servers, virtual servers, networks, storage, databases, middleware and applications.

The package includes an entirely new software program, called HP Enterprise Maps, designed to help enterprise architects map high level business processes to IT resources.

HP is in a competitive market for IT automation and orchestration tools. Not only does it compete with other commercial offerings, from the likes of CA Technologies and BMC, but now must contend with nimble open source rivals as well, whose software is often implemented at the office, region or business unit level, rather than across the entire organization.

In many organizations, regional IT staff are using open source software programs such as Chef or OpenStack to help automate routine IT operations. Chef, for instance, is used to manage the configuration of servers and other IT equipment through the use of Chef scripts, or recipes. OpenStack provides a base for hosting IaaS (infrastructure as a service) services.

While Chef and similar tools are catching on in regional offices, the central IT operations have been slower to adopt them. HP's approach is to interoperate with this software as best as possible, so such tools can be used within HP's own stack of IT management software.

For instance, CSA now offers the ability to incorporate Chef recipes into service designs. This can be handy when the Chef scripts have been created by another party -- such as a business unit manager. "The IT guy doesn't have to go and recreate the Chef scripts" within CSA, Raisinghani said.

This integration with Chef will also give the administrator more tools for quickly setting up operations. For instance, Chef offers recipes for setting up and running Hadoop clusters, or running NoSQL databases such as MongoDB or CouchDB.

Reprinted with permission from IDG.net. Story copyright 2014 International Data Group. All rights reserved.
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